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Tanks out in Beijing in 60th anniversary rehearsal

A File Photo of Chinese army of People's Liberation Army during a military parade

BEIJING (AP): Tanks, armoured personnel carriers and rocket launchers rolled along a major Beijing boulevard Sunday in practice for a parade next month to mark China's 60th anniversary.

The main east-west artery of Beijing was closed for a rehearsal of the elaborate military parade planned for October 1, when the People's Republic of China celebrates six decades since its founding. The parade is intended to highlight accomplishments China has made in its defence sector.

At least a few hundred military vehicles rumbled toward Chang An Avenue, in front of the Forbidden City, as small groups of onlookers gawked from behind police lines.

Public security has been ramped up in the capital in recent months in a campaign similar to last year's Olympic Games. Authorities have inspected all basements in the city, while some restaurants with roof terraces have been told not to seat patrons on sides overlooking the street.

Few details have been released about the schedule for the celebrations, but a keynote address from President Hu Jintao is expected, followed by the military parade and performances involving 200,000 people, 60 floats and fireworks.

Beijing has said it plans to show off much of its latest-generation weaponry and reports say the military aspect of the parade will feature entirely homegrown weaponry, highlighting China's rising capabilities in designing and manufacturing military hardware.

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